A lot of non-surgical treatments for Dupuytren's disease have been used over the years: radiation therapy, ultrasound, steroids, inferferon, antigout medicines, dimethyl sulfoxide and vitamin E cream. There is limited or no clear evidence of them working.
Below is a review of non-surgical treatments that have a scientifically proven effect and have been approved for the treatment of Dupuytren's disease.
Intralesional injection therapy1
An intralesional treatment works by injecting a medical substance directly into a body part that is affected by a disease (called a lesion). In the case of Dupuytren's disease, it is the cord that is causing the fingers to bend. This treatment does not require you to stay in hospital, neither is an anaesthetic needed.
A MP joint, or metacarpophalangeal joint. These are the joints that are located just below the fingers. It is often the ring finger that is affected by a Dupuytren’s cord, as shown by the picture to the left. The picture above shows a Dupuytren’s cord in a MP joint that is being treated by an intralesional treatment.
Percutaneous needle fasciotomy2
This technique uses a needle to cut the cord. The needle is inserted into the palm or fingers to cut (section) the tissues in the palm. The Dupuytren's cord is sectioned by moving the needle in a sawing motion. This movement is repeated several times. The goal is to break the cord so the finger can be straightened. This technique can be carried out under local anaesthetic and may be performed in a day surgery or doctor’s office with no need to stay in hospital.
- Hurst LC et al. N Engl J Med. 2009;361:968–979.
- Diaz et al. Hand Clin. 2014;33-38.